I enjoyed Hellboy when I finally saw it even though I knew nothing about the character before watching the movie. I still only know the basics, but I do find the character to be very interesting. Two animated movies, Hellboy Animated - Sword of Storms and Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron have been made and a second live action movie, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, is due out in July of 2008. I recently picked up them and just watched Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron.
The world of Hellboy that is depicted in the animated movies is slightly different from the versions in the comic books and from the live action movie. Mike Mignola, the creator of Hellboy, wanted things done that way. The characters are basically the same, but in the world for the animated movies, there are new characters, someone didn't die, and there are other characters missing. Even with those differences, I do think that the animated versions compliment the live action movie.
While dealing with a monster in some sort of sewer, Hellboy caught the attention of the goddess Hecate. She didn’t understand why he was living and working with mortals instead of living in another dimension with other demons. After finishing the job, Hellboy, Liz, and Abe were sent to investigate a possible haunting. Professor Broom was also going along, though he wouldn’t tell anyone why at first. He later shared how he had faced Erzsebet Ondrushko, a vampire who would bathe in blood from innocent women to stay young. Professor Broom had thought that he had taken care of Erzsebet back in 1939, but he now believed that she was coming back. Hecate was also watching what was going on and decided that Hellboy should join her.
It was not stated when the events in Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron happened in relation to the events from Hellboy Animated - Sword of Storms. There was no mention of anything that had happened in that movie, though I think this one was supposed to be set after the first one. That is really just a guess based on the fact that Liz seemed to be more in control of her power than she had been in the first movie. Since the plots aren’t connected, the movies could be watched in either order.
I thought that the plot of Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron was interesting. It was very different from what had been done for the first animated movie and the live action movie. Several things happened, but that didn’t make the plot overly complicated. From what I have learned since watching the movie, the plot was mostly created just for this movie, but a few things were pulled from the comics. That was also down with Hellboy Animated - Sword of Storms. It was interesting to see Hellboy and the other B.P.R.D. agents try to deal with a vampire. Things with Hecate weren’t as developed, but it was still interesting.
Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron started off with a flashback set in 1939 that showed when Professor Broom first encountered Erzsebet. That did help to set up the situation for the movie. As it progressed, every so often, there would be another flashback. They were shown in reverse order though, which was a bit different. The first one showed the actual confrontation that Professor Broom had with her. The next one showed him and the few men helping him on their way to the house where they suspected she was. The last flashback, which was one of the last things to be shown in the movie, showed Professor Broom in his office as he was preparing to leave to deal with Erzsebet. It was very clear when a flashback was going on since Professor Broom looked so much younger. It was a bit odd at first for the flashbacks to be in reverse order, but I quickly figured out what was going on. The flashbacks did add to the back story as well as share a bit more about Professor Broom.
The movie did include a bit of action, usually from Hellboy fighting the different creatures that turned up. Liz and Abe also had a chance to deal with a few things as well. Things really weren’t that violent, but since a vampire was involved, a lot of blood was shown. This movie also originally aired on Cartoon Network, so it isn’t rated. It did seem like they were pushing to get away with just a bit more this time since Erzsebet was shown almost naked in one scene. Well, she was naked but covered in blood from her bath. Nothing like that happened in the first animated movie.
Once again, I felt like the animated in Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron could have been better. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t anything special either. The backgrounds especially seemed to suffer with a lack of detail. They were flat and static and only once in a while more detailed. The characters looked fine, though sometimes the movements were a bit jerky and unnatural looking. Since this movie was originally made for Cartoon Network, it is understandable that the animation was up to the standards from Pixar. They were probably working with a somewhat limited budget.
There really was no developed of the relationship between Hellboy and Liz. They were still working together well. There did seem to be some affection between them once or twice, but it wasn’t explored. There was some attention given to the relationship that Hellboy had with Professor Broom, the man who raised him and was basically his father. The full complexity to their relationship wasn’t really developed though. Abe was around for most of the movie without there being any new development for him. Kate, another agent with B.P.R.D. who was introduced in the first animated movie, did return but she was only around briefly.
Sydney Leach was a new agent who was some kind of human metal detector. He really didn’t have much to do either. Hecate turned up in a few scenes without being fully explored. I think it would have been more interesting if there had been more attention given to her since they decided to include her in the movie. Erzsebet wasn’t as fully explored as I would have liked either, but she did make for an interesting character.
Selma Blair - Liz Sherman
Peri Gilpin - Kate
John Hurt - Professor Broom
Doug Jones - Abe Sapien
Rob Paulsen - Sydney Leach
Ron Perlman - Hellboy
Kath Soucie - Erzsebet
Cree Summer - Hecate
Directed by Victor Cook and Tad Stones
I recently picked up the DVD for Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron. It has the widescreen version of the movie. I’m not sure if there is a full screen version available. Reversal of Fortune: Professor Broom’s Story discussed the decision to include the flashbacks in reverse order. It ended by showing those scenes in chronological order. Tales From the Tomb: A Look Inside Blood & Iron featured people involved in the making of the movie talking about that process and the story decisions. Iron Shoes was an animated short based on a story that Mike Mignola had written. The Penanggalan: An E-Comic Exclusive showed a version of one of Mignola’s comic book stories that was interesting. There was also a commentary with the directors and Mignola that I have not listened to.
Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron was an entertaining animated movie that is worth watching. I thought it had an interesting plot that still fit in with the world of Hellboy even though it was a slightly different version of the characters. Fans of the characters should give this a chance.
This review is part of elvisdo’s 2008 Funny Pages Write-Off.
Hellboy ~ Hellboy II: The Golden Army ~ Hellboy Animated - Sword of Storms ~ Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron ~
Other Comic Book/Superhero/Graphic Novel Related Reviews
The Amazing Spider-Man: The Ultimate Guide ~ Batman ~ Batman Returns ~ Batman Forever ~ Batman & Robin ~ Batman Begins ~ Batman: The Ultimate Guide to The Dark Knight ~ Catwoman ~ Constantine ~ Daredevil ~ Elektra ~ Fantastic Four ~ Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer ~ Fantastic Four: The Ultimate Guide ~ Flash Gordon ~ From Hell ~ Ghost Rider ~ Ghost Rider Visual Guide ~ A History of Violence ~ Howard the Duck ~ The Incredibles ~ Invincible Iron Man ~ Iron Man ~ Judge Dredd ~ The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen ~ The Legend of Zorro ~ Lois & Clark: The Complete First Season ~ Lois & Clark: The Complete Second Season ~ Lois & Clark: The Complete Third Season ~ Lois & Clark: The Complete Fourth Season ~ The Mask of Zorro ~ Men in Black ~ Men in Black II ~ Mystery Men ~ My Super Ex-Girlfriend ~ Popeye ~ The Punisher (1989) ~ Richie Rich ~ The Shadow ~ Sky High ~ Spider-Man ~ Spider-Man 2 ~ Spider-Man 3 ~ Stardust ~ Superman: The Movie ~ Superman II ~ Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut ~ Superman Returns ~ Superman: The Ultimate Guide to the Man of Steel ~ TMNT ~ Transformers ~ Ultimate Avengers ~ Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther ~ Ultimate X-Men ~ Underdog ~ X-Men ~ X2: X-Men United ~ X-Men: The Last Stand ~ X-Men: The Legend of Wolverine ~ V for Vendetta ~ Zoom ~
Read all 2 Reviews
Write a Review
Viewing Format: DVD